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in looking for a source of inspiration
I peruse through their booklets
their leaflets and novels
their chapbooks
I see a swirling of metaphors and analogies
I see a heavy emphasis on ideas
some patterns
some rhyme schemes
some mayhem and chaos within the page

in this quest
I find the lack of I
of I removed
from their fabled writings

I find that sometimes
first person is the only way to go
and I find, other times
the self so far removed

the invention of third-party names and dates
places and faces
to complete
whatever Prose has enlisted them as its author

I find I know not
whether or not
I should put I
myself
upon the page
a poem selfie, if you will

all great artists
reference themselves
even Van Gogh painted his own
self-portrait
his own I upon his canvas

so how do I
subtract myself from this poetic equation
and in removing myself
whom do I insert?
will a she or a her
or a them or a him
suffice?
will the story be told as bold
when I is removed
with me not in it?

I know not
I know some ideas beg for expression
in math
little i
represents infinity
ongoing never-ending
concept thought idea

instead of inserting me
I

capitalized
should I
insert an I with an asterisk*
and footnote
my existence?
like a math textbook i=infinity=I=you
should we go on forever
other than expression
isn’t that the point of poetry?
to immortalize oneself upon the page?

the fact that we still seek out the old poets
for their advice beyond the grave
for the inspiration within their words
shows that their immortalization tactic
did indeed
pay off in the end
and though the coins earned do not fill their coffers
we have not forgotten the value of their poetry

even now as I contemplate
where I* belongs

 

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